I have chosen to title my blog “The Power of the To Do List” because I want to show you how something as simple as a To Do list can change the way you organize your life. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the To Do list is an all-powerful, magical secret weapon that is going to solve all your problems and end world hunger. It’s more about the process of creating the list and then tackling it that empowers you to be more productive and efficient with your time.
Here is the 3 Step To Do List Process that has the power to organize your thoughts and make your day more productive:
Step 1: Visualize
Put everything down on paper. All those things you are trying to remember, appointments, phone calls, meetings, due dates, and errands, write it all down. Don’t worry about the order or importance yet. Think of it as a brainstorming session. Write everything you have to do and when it has to be done. Being able to visualize your tasks gives you a better perspective of your actual workload. When you no longer have to try to remember all the stuff you have to do, it frees up space in your mind to think more clearly about how to get it all done.
Step 2: Prioritize
Now that you have everything down on paper, start a new list beginning with the items that need to get done first. During this step, keep in mind the time commitment required for each item. Sometimes quick tasks can be moved up higher on the priority list because they can easily be knocked out. On the other hand, don’t slide longer, undesirable tasks to the bottom of the list because this is a dangerous road to procrastination. You should end up with a nice structured list of To Do’s that gives you a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished and in which order.
Step 3: Conquer!
Start at the top of the list and begin tackling it one item at a time. Each time you finish a task, cross it off. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from conquering a To Do list. Whether it’s a thick black line through the whole item or a big red X at the beginning, everyone has their own way of checking things off the list.
A To Do list is just a visualization tool that allows you to simplify your thoughts and make your daily tasks seem more manageable. The fastest way to make the list smaller is to just get started so you can start crossing things off.
To a happy, healthy, productive life!